Two families displaced by the early morning blaze that killed a retired Baltimore City firefighter Sunday have been moved to other apartments in the Glen Ridge complex in Glen Burnie.
Their apartments in the 6900 block of Glen Ridge Circle were damaged by smoke and water and declared unsafe by county officials.
Lt. Robert Kornmann of the county Fire Department said the cause of the blaze still is under investigation.
Sharon Hart, 25, who moved into a new apartment Monday, said she and her boyfriend had returned home shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday when they heard an explosion.
"And it was a split second that we started smelling smoke, and our smoke detector went off," she said.
She called 911, while her boyfriend, Jay Corron, banged on neighboring apartment doors to warn residents, Ms. Hart said.
At the same time, a county police officer at the complex on an unrelated call saw the sliding glass doors on retired firefighter Marvin Thomas Burkindine's second-floor apartment explode and began to order the evacuation of the building, according to Officer Randy Bell. Mr. Burkindine, 63, died of smoke inhalation.
County firefighters extinguished the flames by 2:45 a.m. and most residents were allowed back into their apartments later that morning.
But Mr. Corron, 25, was arrested after he tried to return to his apartment through the bedroom window while firefighters were trying to put out the blaze, Officer Bell said.
Police found drugs and drug paraphernalia "in plain view" in the apartment and arrested him, said Officer Bell, who could not say what drugs were found. Mr. Corron was charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment.
But Ms. Hart said her boyfriend only went back into the apartment to get shoes and jackets.
Mr. Corron was released on his own recognizance Monday.
The other family that was displaced declined to comment.
Red Cross volunteers provided food vouchers to one family on the scene, but no residents needed help finding shelter, according to Erika Ragland, a Red Cross spokeswoman.